'Space rarities' highlight: ExoMars
One of the highlight lots of the first ‘Space Rarities’ auction being held this Friday, 12 April, is this 1:50 scale metal model of the ESA/Roscosmos 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
Measuring 18 x 35 cm and mounted on a black marble base with the inscription 'ExoMars TGO / EDM scale 1/50 ESA', this official project model represents the first in a series of Mars missions to be undertaken jointly by ESA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
The ExoMars 2016 mission was launched on a four-stage Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket, provided by Roscosmos, from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 14 March 2016. It arrived in orbit around Mars on 19 October 2016 and is still in operation there today. Its mission is to map the sources of methane and other trace gases present in the martian atmosphere that could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity.
As well as its scientific payload capable of detecting and characterising trace gases in the martian atmosphere, it also carried the Entry, Descent and landing demonstrator Module (EDM), known as Schiaparelli, on the journey from Earth towards Mars for deployment to test techniques for landing on the planet.
This auction is organised by the Spacebrains foundation and all profits generated by this sale will be used by the foundation to support young European researchers and entrepreneurs with projects in the space field. ESA receives no financial compensation from this auction and subsequent sales.